Accountability: A Requirement For Success
Yes, accountability is often an overlooked requirement for a successful business operation. Based on clear instructions which include “what by when”, stating specific expectations, goals, benchmarks, accomplishments (call them what you will), and time allocated for completion is the specific missing component in many management strategies.
Doing your best is never good enough. Accomplishing specific minimum objectives in a specific time period works far more effectively in getting the success you are looking for.
There is no job that cannot be broken down to specific goals and objectives that are measurable over time.
Our job as manager is to inspect the progress and adjust accordingly. How else can your business reach its overall goals and objectives? As without such accountability, the entire business will adjust to the lowest common denominator: the slowest and least level of accomplishment. Without goals, how do we measure success?
This is not to say your employees are purposely sandbagging their jobs, working at a slow comfortable pace. It is merely a direct result of their not knowing their objectives and not being held accountable for reaching them.
Profitability is determined by many factors, but one of the most important variables (and slightly invisible if not paid attention to) is productivity, or how much is put out by your business over a specific time period.
If you figure out your overall cost of doing business, everything you pay for from payroll to rent, and divide that by the number of widgets you made and sold or the number of services provided you will get a figure for the company’s overall productivity.
Just think; If the company put out 10% more product or service, other than the direct cost of goods, the added revenue is all profit and goes right to the bottom line, as everything else has been accounted for. That’s productivity, and it can be measured by the business, the department, and the individual.
If no one has a goal and there is no accountability you are running a ship without a speedometer and will never know when you are going to arrive at your destination. However, if each person has specific goals and times to reach these expectations, and then works toward achieving them, their productivity will skyrocket and your margins and profit will jump. And this is without spending a single extra penny.
This is not micro managing, as you are not telling your employees how to do their job. But it is holding them accountable for stated objectives.